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MLB Trade Deadline: What the Danny Valencia Deal Means for the Toronto Blue Jays

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MLB Trade Deadline: What the Danny Valencia Deal Means for the Toronto Blue Jays
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As the MLB trade deadline approaches, the pressure is on for teams to bolster their organizations for the final push to the postseason.

For the Toronto Blue Jays, who hold the American League's second wild-card spot and only trail the Baltimore Orioles by 2.5 games, adding another bat to solidify their lineup was of paramount importance.

Would it be a second baseman like Chase Utley, Daniel Murphy or a versatile utility man like Martin Prado or Ben Zobrist?

The answer is none of the above.

According to John Lott of the National Post, the Jays have acquired third baseman Danny Valencia from the Kansas City Royals for catcher Erik Kratz and pitcher Liam Hendriks.

Valencia isn't an everyday player, but he has made a name for himself hitting left-handed pitching very well. On the flip side, his reduction in OPS from .888 in 2013 to .710 this year, as well as the drop in his OPS+ from 138 (very good) to 95 (below average) are somewhat concerning.

So what does this move mean for the Jays moving forward?

 

The Jays are Likely to Use a Platoon at Third Base

With Valencia being a southpaw specialist (.354/.386/.492 slash line in 63 at-bats this season) and Juan Francisco lighting up right-handed pitching (.265/.336/.587 slash line in 189 at-bats), it seems like GM Alex Anthopoulos opted to acquire someone on the cheap who could form a dynamic partnership with one of his team's current players.

It's hard to see Valencia getting many at-bats against righties or Francisco hitting against lefties from this point forward.

And considering the fact that Valencia hasn't played more than 10 games anywhere other than third base or as a designated hitter, one would think that this platoon will man the hot corner for the rest of the season.

Which means...

 

Brett Lawrie Will Take Over at Second Base Upon his Return

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It may not be his preferred position, but it's hard to see Brett Lawrie playing anywhere but second base once he recovers from injury and returns to the Blue Jays.

Between Valencia playing almost exclusively at third base, Francisco's range making it hard to play him at second and Lawrie being such an incredible athlete, the writing is on the wall.

The question becomes how Lawrie reacts.

He's known to be an emotional player, and if he's not content playing full time at second base, it's very possible that his performance could suffer.

 

Toronto is Confident its Returning Bats are Good Enough to Carry Them

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With all the talk surrounding the Jays needing a boost to their lineup if they want to contend for the postseason, the returns of the aforementioned Lawrie, as well as Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind, seem to have been lost in the shuffle.

Despite his recent setback, Encarnacion has been taking ground balls and doing light running drills in Florida.

If the Jays can add all three bats to their batting order in the next few weeks, they could return to being the force they were early on in the regular season.

If those three aren't as close to returning as management had hoped, however, this kind of move could also signal that the Jays may not have much payroll flexibility, and bringing in a platoon-type player is all the team could afford.

Those concerns could be offset by another acquisition, but that doesn't seem very likely.

 

All statistics obtained courtesy of ESPN.com and Baseball-Reference.com.

Jon Reid is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Follow him on twitter @JonReidCSM.

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